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expatmom

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About expatmom

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  1. I just want to add (yet another) ringing testimonial to the service offered by Shanghai Housing. ( http://www.shanghaihousing.com ) For those of you as new to Shanghai rental market as we were, you *need* a good agent to maneuver the system. We were in a terrible pinch a month ago, needing to move in about four days before a trip home. Vivian immediately added us to her full plate, calling properties right away. She then arranged for her assistant Emily to help us view apartments the next day. Emily was fantastic, walking about in the heat and translating every detail. Her knowledge, communication skills and attitude were so reassuring. Our first move in Shanghai was very scary, especially with no time to think, but Vivian and Emily helped us get through it. I highly recommend Vivian and Emily. It's been a month since they helped us, but as soon as we got home, I wanted to sign up and post their praises. We found them through this forum, where they have been praised up and down, and they deserve every good word. Beyond just working hard, it's clear that they really care about helping the expat community.
  2. Does your company offer a look-see trip where you pick a house and schools? This is the best option - to work with the relocation agent to find both things that are relatively near each other and also near work. Since you are coming from Australia I think the grade levels may be mixed up - don't they start the school year now instead of August/Sept? I imagine the schools will be aware of that. This may be a difficult time to relocate since the schools are fairly full - which is why a good relocation service could help. We used FPD Savills and they did a great job - setting up school and house appointments and negotiating our housing contract.
  3. Colleges are all different in the priority of what they are looking for - SAT scores, grades, course work, extra activities, application essay, etc. Each school has a different ranking of these items. For course work they like to see that the student took the most challenging path offered at their school - recognizing that not all schools offer advanced classes. If you can't take AP classes but take the highest level offered and do well in the class, then it should be ok. Where SAS really shines is in college counseling - they lead the kids through the whole application and college selection process. Colleges visit throughout the year and kids are very well informed.
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